Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-25-2015, 09:25 PM - 1 Like   #1
Pentaxian
Outis's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 916
How much did film bodies and film-era lenses originally cost?

I've been wondering-- how much did film camera bodies and film-era lenses originally cost, and, if you adjust for inflation, how do these prices compare to the bodies and lenses available now?

04-25-2015, 09:33 PM   #2
Pentaxian
MadMathMind's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Houston, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,641
My dad mentioned paying something like $250 for his M 80-200. It came out in 1979. That's $808 in today's dollars. He may have that price totally wrong, but that's what he remembers.
04-25-2015, 10:05 PM   #3
Site Supporter
SpecialK's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: So California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 14,915
Canon EF with 50 1.8 was $300 in the Army PX, 1977-ish
04-25-2015, 10:06 PM   #4
Pentaxian
Not a Number's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 4,264
From the Oct 1981 (Vol 88 N10) issue of Popular Photography the B&H ad lists

Pentax LX body $449.90 with the M f/1.4 50mm lens $543.90. The M 50mm f/1.2 lens is listed for $175.00.

MX body $154.90. Add $15 for black body.

According the the US Inflation calculator that 50mm F/1.2 would cost $454.57 in 2015 (159.8% inflation rate). The LX body would go for $1,168.65.

Inflation Calculator | Find US Dollar's Value from 1913-2015

04-25-2015, 10:12 PM   #5
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,503
Neither cameras nor lenses were particularly inexpensive. I have the invoice for my Ricoh XR7 with Pentax-M 50/1.7 around here somewhere. IIRC, I think I paid $225 for the camera with lens in 1982. At the time, I was making a little less than $8.00/hr. The inflation calculator does not accurately reflect relative purchasing power from that time in history. You could get a nice 2 bedroom apartment for $280/mo. According to the calculator that would be less than $700 in 2015 money. ROFL... So consider that a new Pentax ME Super SLR with fast normal lens would be almost a month's rent.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-25-2015 at 10:19 PM.
04-25-2015, 10:49 PM   #6
New Member




Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2
I received a Pentax ME Super in 1983 as a law school graduation gift. I think Steve's estimate is in the ballpark. My gift came with a Focal 28mm F/2.8 lens -- that was a KMart lens (I didn't know it was a KMart lens at the time -- it was a pretty good lens), and the gift included a Sigma 75-150mm zoom lens. And it came with a basic Pentax flash which I replaced later. I believe the total package was around $300, but it was a gift; and I don't know the price. I bought a much better Vivitar flash 5-years later for around $50. The old film cameras did not come with a built-in flash. They came with a hot shoe for a flash attachment. It was a heckuva a camera for producing 4 x 6 paper images. But now that we have digital photography what was one of the greatest 35mm cameras ever does not hold a candle to the K-5.
04-25-2015, 11:02 PM   #7
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Essex County, Ontario
Posts: 478
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Neither cameras nor lenses were particularly inexpensive. I have the invoice for my Ricoh XR7 with Pentax-M 50/1.7 around here somewhere. IIRC, I think I paid $225 for the camera with lens in 1982. At the time, I was making a little less than $8.00/hr. The inflation calculator does not accurately reflect relative purchasing power from that time in history. You could get a nice 2 bedroom apartment for $280/mo. According to the calculator that would be less than $700 in 2015 money. ROFL... So consider that a new Pentax ME Super SLR with fast normal lens would be almost a month's rent.


Steve
My first K body was a Ricoh XR-2 in 1978 for $329 w/50 f/2. Prices in Canada were usually ranging 1/3 or more higher. The Pentax ME and MX I considered then were $299 and $349 for bodies. By 1980 I worked in a camera store and remember quite well some of the prices. ME Super came out at $389 w/50 f/1.7. 28 f/2.8 was $129, 50 f/4 macro $169, and 100 f/4 macro $269. My own Vivitar 90 f/2.8 1:1 I bought for $225 with employee discount. The LX was always $600+ when it first appeared and was my fantasy until just a couple years ago when I finally got a used body in great shape and CLA`d for $225 on line. Back before PCs and Internet my only chance for used equipment was usually newspaper classifieds or a small used section in some camera stores. A group of us from the store and favorite customers swapped and traded among ourselves and deals were found. K28 f3.5 for $125 and K85 f/1.8 for $150 were my favorites. LBA was a common affliction back then too. I spent a couple summers working in an auto factory at about $8/hour and my first apartment in 1982 was $260/mo. Considering inflation in Canada, the going prices for most new photo gear now seems like a bargain compared to the chunk of income top notch cameras and lenses took 30-40 years back.
04-25-2015, 11:11 PM   #8
Site Supporter




Join Date: Apr 2011
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,517
You guys seemed to have cheap cameras way back then.


Here I paid AUD$215 for Ricoh XR500 + 50/2 in 1978, toay approx. $1100, and
AUD$320 for MX +M50/2 I early 1981, today approx $1250. Later that year the LX was introduced at roughly double the price.


I think my brother has the Ricoh and the MX is in my study desk drawer with a bunch of lenses.


More seriously, having collected many Takumar primes I would be interested in the historical new prices of them.

04-25-2015, 11:12 PM   #9
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,503
QuoteOriginally posted by From1980 Quote
Considering inflation in Canada, the going prices for most new photo gear now seems like a bargain compared to the chunk of income top notch cameras and lenses took 30-40 years back.
Yep...


Steve
04-25-2015, 11:15 PM   #10
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,503
QuoteOriginally posted by tim60 Quote
More seriously, having collected many Takumar primes I would be interested in the historical new prices of them.
Nesster (PF member) has a ton of old photo magazine ads from way back posted to Flickr. He may have ad sheets for those taks.


Steve
04-25-2015, 11:53 PM   #11
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,149
I bought my "Honeywell Pentax" H1a with ST 55 f2 new in 1965 at list price of $149.95.
04-26-2015, 01:15 AM   #12
Site Supporter
p38arover's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Western Sydney, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,078
My Spotmatic with the 55mm f1.8 lens cost A$180 in 1968 (at the time, the AUD was stronger than the USD and that amount was equivalent to US$200). I was earning less than A$100 per week as a qualified electronics tech at a satellite earth station.

That A$180 is roughly equal to A$1250 today.
04-26-2015, 01:51 AM   #13
Veteran Member
Cuthbert's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2013
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,573
QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
From the Oct 1981 (Vol 88 N10) issue of Popular Photography the B&H ad lists

Pentax LX body $449.90 with the M f/1.4 50mm lens $543.90. The M 50mm f/1.2 lens is listed for $175.00.

MX body $154.90. Add $15 for black body.

According the the US Inflation calculator that 50mm F/1.2 would cost $454.57 in 2015 (159.8% inflation rate). The LX body would go for $1,168.65.

Inflation Calculator | Find US Dollar's Value from 1913-2015
These prices are surpringly low, especially for the f1,2 and the LX in comparison to the current Canon and Nikon 1,2s...I think Canon wants 1200 (discounted) for the EF 50mm f1,2 L.
04-26-2015, 02:10 AM   #14
Pentaxian
aurele's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Paris, France
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,968
Pentax SuperA (Super Program) + A 50/1.7 + Takumar A 28/2.8 + Motor A was 2,100 fr in 1990, which was 3 month (170h each month) of minimum salary in France.

The body and the winder was 2 months already, the 2 lenses were 1 month.

If you translate it in it's round 4000 nowadays !!
04-26-2015, 02:16 AM   #15
Veteran Member
Cuthbert's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2013
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,573
These prices sounds a little more likely, I remember when I bought my first camera (an Exacta HS-10) in 1992 no way I could have afforded a Nikon, Canon or a Pentax.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bodies, cost, design, education, film, film bodies, film-era, government, lenses, people, return, tax, taxes
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Samyang lenses and film bodies Tony Belding Pentax Film SLR Discussion 16 03-02-2015 07:48 PM
Pentax K-50 and compatibility with film era lenses vasilis_k1000 Pentax K-30 & K-50 2 10-06-2014 01:34 AM
Film Era vs. Digital Era lenses for K-x steveknj Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 23 08-19-2011 05:36 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:54 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top